老女人 running the roadside antique stand spoke with a heavy eastern accent. 她 skirted the table with two limping legs, hidden by loose, draping leather pants and no shoes. 约翰 couldn’帮忙盯着那个女人’黑色的脚趾，好像她曾经遭受过冻伤。
老女人 approached 约翰’s wife. With her long fingers she pushed a brass teapot into 爱丽丝’的手。她手臂上透明的皮肤随着她微小动作的动摇而摆动。
“Thank you,” 爱丽丝 responded politely, not knowing what else to say.
约翰 rolled his eyes when his wife set the brass teapot in the backseat of their Ford Festiva. The car was noticeably struggling as they drove down the interstate, burdened by the small weight of weekend suitcases.
On the drive home they argued about money. Wasted money. With two children in college, neither having been able to maintain their scholarships, not 上ly was 约翰 and 爱丽丝’他们的退休金在减少，但他们有能力维持生计。
那里 had been mention of a second mortgage.
As the car pulled into their house each went to collect a suitcase. 约翰 slammed 爱丽丝’她的手指意外地伸入后备箱中，然后才可以将手抓住。
With his last gulp of coffee, just before he was going to stand up and kiss his wife goodbye, 约翰 found something floating in his mouth.
“Of course. It’s clean.”
“那这到底是什么？” he asked.
They both bent over the kitchen table where 约翰 laid the bill out to dry. Neither of the two could explain the presence of the money except to say that 爱丽丝 must have missed it somehow when she was cleaning, though she swore she had scrubbed every angle of the brass teapot.
They continued 上 the next day, after shouting at 上e another so furiously that they had each finally retreated to their corners and cried themselves to sleep. 约翰 got a call 上 the fourth day from his boss saying that he shouldn’不必再来了。她可以应付。
“Fine,” 约翰 replied. “I’无论如何，我还是找到了其他东西。”他的老板惊讶于缺乏情感。爱丽丝也决定不回自己的雇主。尽管他们缺乏秘密和真正的侮辱–不真诚的侮辱没有’t pay a dime –他们仍然花了足够的钱才能维持几个月。
约翰 and 爱丽丝 waited for their daughter to go out with her high school friends 要么 to go to bed at night before starting their ritual of insults and physical attacks. When the girl asked in the morning what had happened, why her mother’嘴唇肿了，两人保持安静。
“You shouldn’t have done that,” 约翰 said, as they smiled and waved.
With all of their secrets scattered about their modest home, covered in broken glass and splintered wood, the two were forced to go back to beating themselves. 约翰 called his old boss and begged for his job 上 his boss’的语音邮件，但他的电话再也没有回电。
A policeman had visited 约翰 in the waiting room and asked him questions. He had written 约翰’s answers into a little notebook and showed 约翰 pictures of 爱丽丝’s bruises.
约翰 nodded his head and stared off in the other direction.
At the end of each week 约翰 took a giant bucket of change to the bank to be counted out and returned in bills. The change was even diminishing. They had begun to expect four hundred dollars a week in change, but it soon dwindled to two hundred and fifty.
“The fridge doesn’t work,” 爱丽丝 reported.
“What? Why not?” 约翰 asked, returning from a disappointing trip to the bank.
约翰, dabbing at an injury 上 his chin that wouldn’别再流血了，走进他的妻子用木勺敲打那个男人的头。他年龄较大，体重缓慢，右腿瘫软。
“Alice!” 约翰 yelled. He pulled her off of the heavy man who was covering his face with his hands. The clank of the wooden spoon hitting his rings had played in unison with the change rattling in the teapot.
爱丽丝 lurched at the recoiled man with her feet, 约翰 having hold of her top half. Her foot planted firmly 上 the man’的鼻子，瞬间折断。鲜血从他的鼻孔里咆哮着，滑到他的嘴唇上，最后到已经沾满血迹的地板上。
“You’re crazy!”他对她尖叫。“You’re wife’s a crazy bitch!”他用手遮住了脸。
“She’s not crazy,” 约翰 responded calmly.
约翰 walked over to the teapot and pulled out a newly formed hundred dollar bill. He handed it to the repairman.
她 got down next to him, stabbed him three 要么 four more times, in hopes that he could still feel the pain. 她 then lifted herself, 约翰 standing horrified in the corner, and walked over to the teapot. 她 lifted the lid. A blood-spattered smile charmed across her face.
“Look at this!”她说。她把锅拿出来给他看，尽管他没有’看。到处都是数百个。塞满了数百个。
“You killed a man!” 约翰 yelled. In a panic he looked out the kitchen window. 那里 was no 上e in sight. “We’我必须把他的身体放到外面的工作卡车上。看看是否可以找到他的钥匙。”
< 16 >
约翰 went to grab towels out of the bathroom to mop up the blood. When he returned she was at the man again with her knife.
“It doesn’t work after they’re dead,” she said.
“Can you help me?” he asked.
“我们可以购买天堂的方式，” she whispered. “There’我们附近的房子里必须要有十五个邻居，这些邻居才能信任我们。街对面的唐在他的壁橱里拿着枪。他保持加载。”
“一万多元”她说，摸索着本杰明·富兰克林的不变面孔。“我们可以花钱去天堂” she repeated.